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177: Podcasting Under Attack

A lawsuit filed in a small Texas town is taking aim at the entire genre of podcasting. A company called Personal Audio, an entity founded in 1996 that is yet to produce a single product, owns a patent on 'disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence.' Essentially, Personal Audio argue that they invented podcasting back in 1996. Now through the targeting of podcast pioneers such as Adam Carolla, Marc Maron, and others, their litigation has the potential to make podcasting impossible for those unable to pay licensing fees. 

 

Personal Audio has been labelled as the quintessential 'patent troll' - that is, a 'non-operating entity...who owns or buys patents for the sole purpose of suing companies or individuals they claim to be infringing on their patents'. As Attorney Daniel Nazer argues, “Personal Audio hasn’t produced podcasts, they haven’t done anything to contribute to podcasts as we know them today. They’re really asking for a cut when they did nothing.”

 

Whilst Personal Audio has sent demand letters to a number of well-known podcasters, currently they have only sued Adam Carolla, the host of 'the most downloaded show on the entire Internet', The Adam Carolla Show. The cost of Adam's legal defense of this action is estimated to be in the $1.5-2 million range.

 

You can contribute to the 'Save Our Podcasts Legal Defense Fund' at FundAnything.com/PatentTroll. 

 

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Direct download: PodcastPatentTrollSLHS177.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

176: Meet The Republican Hipster

With recent polls indicating that the youth are beginning to turn on Barack Obama, the GOP has attempted to capitalize by pushing a new ad campaign built around a previously unknown 30 year old PR pro named Scott Greenberg. The campaign, which has been the subject of much derision and criticism this week, is targeted specifically at 'Millennials' - young people born after 1982 that are said to be much more narcissistic than their predecessors.

 

In this episode of Smells Like Human Spirit, Guy Evans questions the labels often attached to 'Millennials', and analyzes the puzzling methods used by the GOP to recruit them.

 

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Direct download: RepublicanHipsterSLHS176.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

175: The Intersection of Politics and Comedy

Comedy and Politics have a long and storied connection with each other. The great political comics have consistently provoked us to question our previous assumptions, think more critically about those power, and consider alternative perspectives on current events. In this episode of Smells Like Human Spirit, Guy Evans considers the potential of comedy for social change.

 

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Direct download: PoliticsandComedySLHS175.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT

SLHS Throwback: Michael Ruppert on 'Collapse', NDAA, Alex Jones, and more

[ORIGINALLY BROADCAST ON 03/13/13]

 

Michael Ruppert is a former LAPD narcotics investigator, whistleblower and a 1973 Honors Graduate of UCLA in Political Science. He authored ‘Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil’, was publisher and editor of the newsletter ‘From The Wilderness’ until 2006, and is perhaps best known for being the subject of the 2009 documentary ‘Collapse’.

 

In this interview Michael discusses, among other topics:

 

* His portrayal in the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Collapse’

* CIA complicity in drug trafficking in the United States

* The showdown with then-CIA director John Deutch at Locke High School in 1996

* Why Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism are outdated concepts

* Alex Jones being a “liar” in regards to Gary Webb’s suicide

* Barack Obama’s relationship to megabanks and big business

* Meeting with Leonardo DiCaprio and other public figures

* His case for why 9/11 was “orchestrated and executed” by the U.S. government

* The ‘Fox Magic’ comments he made on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast

* NDAA and what it means for democracy

 

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Direct download: MichaelRuppertMarch2013.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT

174: Does a Lottery Win Guarantee Happiness?

A well-known axiom suggests that money cannot buy us happiness. At the same time, financial concerns contribute towards much of our everyday worries, meaning that for many, the idea of winning the Lottery represents the ultimate in personal freedom and security.

 

Does a Lottery win really guarantee happiness? Listen to the podcast for more!

 

FURTHER READING

 

Adams, S. (2012). Why Winning Powerball Won't Make You Happy. Forbes.com. November 28th 2012.

 

Brickman, P., Coates, D. and Janoff-Bulfman, R. (1978). Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36 (8), 917-927.

 

Easterlin (1974). Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence. In Paul A. David and Melvin W. Reder, eds., Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honor of Moses Abramovitz, New York: Academic Press, Inc.

 

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Smells Like Human Spirit is a DAILY podcast that covers society, culture, and everything in between! Previous guests include Professor Noam Chomsky, Lee Camp, Michael Ruppert and many others…

 

SUBSCRIBE at www.smellslikehumanspirit.com/iTunes

Direct download: LotteryHappinessSLHS174.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 12:20am EDT

On yesterday's show, we examined the phenomena known as 'doublespeak', a term used to describe intentionally evasive, vague, or misleading language. In today's podcast, we remember a period in time where not only did doublespeak rule the day, but also did 'double-dutch'!

George W. Bush's presidency was characterized by a series of baffling public remarks that came to be known as 'Bushisms'. Today, we look back at the very best pearls of wisdom from the inarticulate Texan. Enjoy!

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Direct download: BushismsSLHS173.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT

Doublespeak is a term that traces its origin back to George Orwell's influential book '1984'. To engage in doublespeak means to talk in a vague, misleading and ambiguous manner - a tactic often observed in politics and business especially. In this episode of SLHS, various commentators from George Carlin to Philip Seymour Hoffman weigh in on the nature of doublespeak.

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Direct download: DoublespeakSLHS172.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT

Episode 171 of SLHS remembers the late, great Tony Benn - the aristocratic son of a lord who famously renounced his peerage to become a true champion for worker's rights. 

"In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person--Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates--ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system." - Tony Benn (1925-2014)

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Direct download: TonyBennSLHS171.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:13pm EDT

The most valuable commodity in this world is not money, nor is it gold, silver, diamonds or anything material - rather, it is time. Our time perspective — whether we tend to get stuck in the past, live only for the moment, or use future ambitions to motivate us - says a lot about our personality and overall happiness. 

Professor and Author Philip Zimbardo coined the idea of time perspective. According to Zimbardo's research, our attitude towards time is just as defining as key personality traits such as optimism or sociability. 

In this episode of SLHS, Guy Evans explores the 'time perspective' idea. Enjoy!

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Direct download: TimePerspectivesSLHS170.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

YOU provide the topics once again for today's podcast as Guy Evans opens up the listener mailbag. Items of discussion include the Internet's 25th birthday and its proposed 'bill of rights'; Russell Brand's critical analysis of the media, and...a missing airplane???

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Direct download: MailbagVol2SLHS169.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT